With 17 championships and the title as the most successful franchise in NBA history, the Boston Celtics always carry around a certain amount of pressure with them.
Most people would agree that Brad Stevens and his troops overachieved this season as they looked set to capture the third seed in the Eastern Conference, and for long periods, they looked like they would challenge the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top two spots.
However, back-to-back losses to fellow playoff inhabitants, the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, have meant that the famous greens are currently lying in fifth with one game to go, level with Charlotte.
Boston could still wind up in one of three different positions following their final regular season game against the Miami Heat, who currently lie in thier old spot of third.
Naturally, where they finish could have a massive impact on their postseason run, but Stevens doesn't want to think about that just yet.
"I said, ‘Would you mind throwing that away?'" Stevens said before the team's afternoon practice on Tuesday. "Like, it’s a headache to even try to figure out."
The Atlanta Hawks will face the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets battle the Orlando Magic in the final round of matchups.
Those are the games that the Celtics management needs to be aware of, but we'll break it down for Stevens.
The Celtics will finish fourth if they and the Atlanta Hawks both win. They'll slot in at fifth if they and the Hornets lose, or, if they are victorious but the Hawks lose.
Boston can even slump to sixth if they get undone at home to Miami and the Hornets come away with a W.
Despite those scenarios, Stevens is concentrating on the form that has seen one of the league's best defence's this season suffer two consecutive defeats at the business end of the campaign.
"I think my level of concern or the amount of thoughts that are going through my head are probably the same regardless of the outcome," Stevens said when asked about those consecutive losses during the playoff pursuit.
"I’m interested to see how we respond. This has been a good group as far as responding goes. I’m interested to see how we respond to [Monday's] game [at Tuesday's practice]. Then certainly [Wednesday vs. the Heat]."
With Isaiah Thomas leading the charge, the Celtics have been an excellent watch for the majority of the season and it would be a shame if they faded away when it really mattered.
If fans fancy a basketball appetiser before the Kobe Bryant farewell game, then the Eastern Conference playoff race for homecourt supremacy will be a worthy watch.
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